As any parent of school-age children will recognise, the end of term sometimes cannot come quickly enough. Theresa May clearly felt the same last week, given the Government’s abortive attempt to hasten the start of the summer recess. This has been a term that will long be remembered for its unusually bitter in-fighting and rancorous debate. None of the major parties, it seems, has escaped deep internal conflict or accusations of bad faith.
ComRes has for many years asked MPs what they intend to read over the summer break. Given the animosity of the past months, it came as a surprise that the top choice of MPs’ summer reading in 2018 is Tim Shipman’s book Fall Out: a year of political mayhem. A book which the New Statesman described as exposing ‘the nastiness behind the scenes of a Tory Tragedy’ seems hardly a short cut to a tranquil switch-off on the beach. Stranger still, it’s the top choice for Conservatives.
Labour’s top choice, and second overall, is Antony Beevor’s Arnhem, a mighty tome looking at the Allied attempt to capture bridges across the Rhine (and, as with the top choice overall, is a story of failure).
Third is The Secret Barrister, subtitled ‘Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken’.